Looking for the biggest play of the Dodger postseason? At least one Dodger says look no further than Mike Scioscia’s 2-run, 9th-inning homer off the New York Mets’ Dwight Gooden that tied Game 4 of the National League playoffs.
Kirk Gibson’s home run in the 12th inning gave the Dodgers a 5-4 victory that tied the series, 2-2.
“It all goes back to that home run that Scioscia hit off Gooden,” Jay Howell said of the surge in Dodger confidence. “Things started happening and they never stopped.”
Oakland pitcher Dave Stewart visited the Dodger clubhouse after the celebration had subsided and hugged and congratulated several of them. Jay Howell, meanwhile, visited the Oakland clubhouse with the same sort of greetings.
“You can’t take anything away from the way they played,” Stewart said of his former team. “They played a tad harder than we did and executed a little better than we did.”
Stewart showed some of his best footwork of the Series while in the Dodger clubhouse, as he successfully avoided a cherry pie the Dodgers were tossing at each other, a pie that was naturally followed by the spraying of a can of whipped cream.
There were 21 World Series records either set or equaled by the Dodgers and the A’s.
Among other things, these were the longest games in World Series history, averaging exactly 3 hours.
The teams combined to use the most left fielders in a series of any length--7. This includes 4 different A’s left-field starters in the last 4 games--Dave Parker, Tony Phillips, Luis Polonia and Stan Javier.
Perhaps the oddest record was the one tied by Oakland’s Dave Parker in Game 2. He became only the second man in Series history to collect all of his team’s hits--3. The only other time it happened was in 1923, by Emil Meusel of the New York Giants.
Strangely enough, with all the great Dodger pitching, there were no individual pitching records tied or set. Like everything else with the Dodgers, it was apparently just good enough to win.
Notables: The team that scored first in each of this Series’ games won that game.
The A’s hit just .177 in the Series, scoring a total of 11 runs in 5 games, with just 2 homers. The A’s hitting goats included Mark McGwire (1 for 17) and Walt Weiss (1 for 16). Then there was the biggest goat of all, Jose Canseco (1 for 19). It was hard to believe that after his grand slam in Game 1, he didn’t get another hit. The Dodgers, meanwhile, hit .246 in the series, with 21 runs on 5 homers.
Because they also won a world title in 1981, the Dodgers snapped a streak of 10 different World Series champions in the last 10 years, the longest span in Series history.
Orel Hershiser, in the wake of his victory over the A’s Thursday night, said the Dodger character stems from a “great mix of personalities,” but he also said that much of it stemmed from Kirk Gibson.
“That one swing exemplified his leadership role,” Hershiser said of the pinch, 2-out, 2-run homer the injured Gibson hit to win Game 1 in the ninth inning.
“Gibson made it right to be aggressive and a workaholic,” Hershiser said of the Dodgers’ transformation.
The final Dodger injury of the season happened to Manager Tom Lasorda after the game.
In the rush of celebration, Lasorda cut his forehead on the World Series trophy a few moments after it was presented to him. The cut was above Lasorda’s right eyebrow and did not require stitches.
“I can sure feel it, though,” Lasorda said.
His status is day-to-day.
Fred Claire, Dodger executive vice president who rebuilt the club after consecutive 73-89 finishes, said the Dodgers are testimony to teamwork.
“The team showed so much desire and will to win that I think it will carry over in the years to come all the way to the minor league teams,” Claire said. “This is not a team of destiny. It is a team of intense desire, a team more concerned with the whole than the individual, a team with a spirit that feeds off itself.
“We saw improvement in this team all season long. This team has had a singular purpose, to win. We were like a marathon runner with the spirit and intensity of a sprinter.”
Dr. Frank Jobe, undoubtedly the busiest team physician in sports these days, said Thursday that Dodger catcher Mike Scioscia will undergo arthroscopic surgery to remove torn cartilage from his right knee after the World Series and that it soon will be determined whether pitcher John Tudor will need major surgery on his left elbow.
Scioscia hurt his knee sliding into second base Wednesday night in Game 4. “It’s quite a bit better today (Thursday),” Jobe said of Scioscia’s knee. Scioscia did not play in the Series finale Thursday.
As for Tudor, who suffered a sprained elbow ligament in Game 3, Jobe said a decision on reconstructive surgery, made famous by Tommy John, will be made Monday.
It is believed that Tudor, 34, is leaning toward the operation. The procedure is to take a tendon from another part of the body and attach it to the frayed ligament. Jobe said the recovery time ranges from 8 months to a year. Tudor had 1 season remaining on his contract, believed to be worth $1.3 million.
“We’ll know for sure Monday,” Jobe said. “It probably would take a whole year to rehabilitate, but we’re learning more about the surgery and might be able to speed up (the rehabilitation). He could be back in 7 to 8 months.”
A’s Manager Tony La Russa, stressing that he didn’t think the TV remarks by Bob Costas regarding the Dodgers’ weak lineup for Game 4 had anything to do with L.A.'s 4-3 victory, said he thought that the Dodgers were tipped to the remarks Costas would make so that they could use them as motivational fodder.
“I wasn’t irritated about (Costas),” La Russa said. “I was irritated about how they found out. It was my impression they were notified, told to listen.”
La Russa and Costas had an animated conversation before Game 5, after which Costas said there was no way the Dodgers could have been tipped because the remarks were live and no one had been told what he intended to say.
Former big league manager Bill Rigney, now an executive with the A’s, said of his team’s offensive struggle: “It seems to me we forgot about hitting to the opposite field. We’ve got nine guys trying to hit the ball out of the park and that can eat you up.”
Dodger catcher Rick Dempsey, who spent 10 years with Baltimore, was asked to compare his current manager, Tom Lasorda, with his former Oriole manager, Earl Weaver.
“Tommy is about 50 pounds heavier,” Dempsey said.
Dempsey continued: “Earl is loud and tough and likes to keep control of his players. Tommy likes to have more of an emotional relationship with his players both on and off the field.
“Tommy will go with more of a set lineup. He’ll settle on a group of guys in the spring and keep those players until they prove they can’t keep the job. Earl is more of a platoon manager who will rely on statistics.”
Times staff writers Sam McManis, Scott Ostler, Ross Newhan and Mike Penner contributed to this story.